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NRA Files Papers in Legal Challenge to ATF “Pistol Brace Rule,” Defends Members Against ‘Arbitrary Attack’

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

NRA Files Papers in Legal Challenge to ATF “Pistol Brace Rule,” Defends Members Against ‘Arbitrary Attack’

The NRA seeks to intervene in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, to obtain injunctive relief stopping the ATF from enforcing its unconstitutional rule – which reverses its long-standing position that pistol braces do not transform pistols into rifles subject to onerous registration and taxation requirements under the National Firearms Act. Defendants include, among others, the ATF, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Steven M. Dettelbach, in his official capacity as director of ATF (“Defendants”).

The filings are the latest steps taken by the NRA to challenge the new rule – which subjects law-abiding gun owners to penalties, fines, and potential prison sentences for the use of a legal plastic apparatus on some firearms.

Previously, the NRA obtained clarification of multiple aspects of ATF’s proposed rule, including 1) that braces removed from firearms do not necessarily have to be destroyed or altered in a way that prevents them from being reattached to a firearm; and 2) that imported pistols with stabilizing braces do not necessarily need to be destroyed or surrendered.

Now, the NRA is going to court to obtain preliminary, and ultimately permanent, injunctive relief restraining Defendants from enforcing the “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces’” (the “Final Rule”) against law-abiding NRA members. First announced in January 2023, the Final Rule was set to go into effect June 1, 2023. Gun rights groups and the State of Texas are among those who have been granted preliminary injunctive relief from the Final Rule – and now the NRA seeks recognition of the irreparable harm its members also face from the draconian measure.

“The NRA has consistently opposed this arbitrary attack on law-abiding gun owners on multiple fronts,” says NRA Executive Vice President & CEO Wayne LaPierre. “The NRA is a leader in the largest and most aggressive legal challenge to this action, and now aims to intervene in the Texas lawsuit. We are pursuing relief to protect our members – and bring a halt to this attack on their freedom.”

NRA President Charles Cotton says, “President Biden and his rogue regulators are on notice: the NRA will continue to defend its members and their constitutional freedoms – fighting this rule and the anti-Second Amendment agenda in every forum available.”

The NRA represents millions of members across the nation in preserving the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, including hundreds of thousands of members in Texas. The NRA has approximately 350,000 members in Texas – the #1 state for NRA members. As explained in the NRA’s Complaint in Intervention, many of its members are being irreparably harmed by the Final Rule, because they are forced to modify their firearms, destroy them, register them, or surrender them to the federal government under threat of criminal prosecution. Pistol stabilizing braces allow users to strap their gun to their forearm or place them on their shoulders for more stability. Millions of these devices are used by gun owners across the nation—particularly disabled veterans who need braces to safely use a pistol.

In late May, the court entered orders enjoining Defendants from enforcing the Final Rule against another gun-rights group and its members. However, the scope of the injunctive relief granted applies only to plaintiffs.

“The courts have already recognized other gun-promotion groups should be afforded protection from this rule,” Cotton says. “The NRA now seeks to intervene – to extend the protections to the Association. The NRA is the leading provider of gun-safety and marksmanship education in the nation, so there is compelling need for the relief being sought for its members.”

In addition to this latest effort, NRA is backing and supporting a lawsuit challenging ATF’s unlawful rule. The lawsuit filed February 9th is captioned Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc., v. Merrick Garland and was filed in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota. Plaintiffs include: SB Tactical, B&T USA, Wounded Warrior Richard Cicero, and a coalition of 25 states led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley.

FILINGS: Click for Complaint and Click for Brief

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NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

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NRA Releases Statement on Rahimi Decision

Friday, June 21, 2024

NRA Releases Statement on Rahimi Decision

Today, in United States v. Rahimi, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal prohibition on firearms possession by individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders.

Fallout from Trudeau’s Gun Grab: Crime is Up, Number of Gun Ranges Drops

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Monday, June 17, 2024

Fallout from Trudeau’s Gun Grab: Crime is Up, Number of Gun Ranges Drops

In Canada, a ban on over 1,500 firearm makes, models and variants, together with a mandatory government confiscation (“buyback”) requirement, was imposed by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over four years ago. 

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates ATF Rule Classifying Bump Stocks as Machineguns

Friday, June 14, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court invalidates ATF Rule Classifying Bump Stocks as Machineguns

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unlawfully exceeded its authority by classifying bump stocks as machineguns.

Kansas: Legislators Seize Special Session Opportunity to Start Discussion for 2025 Session

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Kansas: Legislators Seize Special Session Opportunity to Start Discussion for 2025 Session

Last month, Gov. Laura Kelly called a special session of the Kansas Legislature to deal with tax issues. The special session adjourned this week, lasting less than 24 hours. Despite the brevity, pro-gun Senators J.R. ...

NRA Files Amicus Brief with Ninth Circuit in Challenge to California’s Billy Club Ban

Friday, June 14, 2024

NRA Files Amicus Brief with Ninth Circuit in Challenge to California’s Billy Club Ban

Today, NRA filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a challenge to California’s prohibition on the possession of billy clubs.

Turks and Chaos: Island Jurisdiction a Potential Nightmare for U.S. Gun Owners

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Monday, May 13, 2024

Turks and Chaos: Island Jurisdiction a Potential Nightmare for U.S. Gun Owners

Set aside communist Cuba for a moment, these days another Caribbean island jurisdiction is providing a cautionary tale for U.S. gun owners. 

NRA Secures Landmark Legal Victory; Supreme Court Unanimously Rules for NRA in First Amendment Case Against Former New York Regulator

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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) scored a historic legal victory today in one of the most closely followed First Amendment cases in the nation. In a stinging rebuke of New York’s “blacklisting campaign” against ...

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Today, the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America elected former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr as President of the NRA and Doug Hamlin as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO. The meeting ...

Still no Trace of the Truth

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Monday, June 17, 2024

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In our first installment of a critical analysis of an anti-gun propaganda podcast series from The Trace, we covered the lies, misinformation, and deceptive emotional arguments made in the first four episodes. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.